This clinical program provides students with the opportunity to experience the general practice of law. Students handle the legal problems of low-income residents of the District of Columbia. The caseload of the clinic consists primarily of SSI/public benefits, special education, consumer, and family law matters. These cases offer the full range of client representation before administrative agencies on the local and federal level and the courts of the District of Columbia. Interns eligible for certification under the Student Practice Rule present their clients’ cases in court. The program is designed to give students the opportunity to develop skills in time and office management, interviewing, counseling, negotiating, drafting, motions practice, trial techniques, and reflective lawyering.
In addition to the clinical work, a three-hour seminar is conducted once a week. The seminar includes participatory exercises in interviewing, counseling, negotiations, and selected aspects of trial techniques; and structured discussions of ethical considerations, recent common law and statutory development, and general case discussion.
Students enrolled for six credits are expected to spend a minimum of 20 hours weekly on clinic work. Students may also enroll for seven or 13 credits, but only with the prior approval of professors Brustin, Mullen, and Scully. Enrollment for 13 credits requires a minimum commitment of 40 hours weekly. Enrollment for three hours is limited to students who have satisfactorily completed a minimum of six credits of CCLS: General Practice Clinic, and requires prior approval of professors. The course is graded, with a pass/fail option. A student may request to do a qualifying portfolio paper that fulfills a portion of the upper-level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X — Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Ms. Brustin, Ms. Mullen, Ms. Scully.